We meet our guide Bishu. He rocks up to the hotel Perumal on his Enfield motorbike.
We spend the morning walking around the streets, absorbing his very listenable interpretation of Pondicherry history, his own personal story and also his experience when the tsunami came to the east coast of India.
A visit to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. This ashram was founded by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The ashram is a spiritual centre for practicing yoga and meditation.
Bishu was an attendee at the ashram school, and is still very supportive of the ashram.
Pondicherry attracts a lot of French people. Many of whom have lived there for decades, and who attend the ashram.
This colourful city has had an incredible history. Wars continued between the French and the British for control. The poms eventually destroyed the whole city, and it was after that , that the grand canal was built to divide the French and Tamil sectors. The lowest of the castes were so poor, they left India for France to become domestic servants. Some of them returned, wealthy in comparison by Indian standards. They also received a French passport, and they converted to Christianity, resulting in churches being built. We went to see one of these churches, and was surprised to see Virgin Mary dressed in a blue sari!
Another place we visited, was the recently rejuvenated Hindi temple. A super colourful interior, and it even had air conditioning.
A look at what was once a beautiful beach, now displays large boulders as a rock wall, in the prevention of any damage should another tsunami arrive on that large expanse of coast and the ocean in the Bay of Bengal.
We ventured to the Tamil sector for a coffee.
At six o'clock that evening, we are driven to Bishu's house for a taste of indian food. Sharma is Bishu's partner. She is a caterer. It is all hands on deck. I learn to make some fabulous snack foods. A generous assortment of foods is produced. Possibly about six different types of snack food. Then comes the main courses, fish, curry, rice, prawns to name a few- and all of this food is made from scratch. Amazing, and so tasty.
Come dessert, we are so full, we barely taste a spoonful.
It has been a delightful evening. Outside it is pouring.